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|Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:34|
Main software of a computer
A HUMAN being can practically use every part of his/her body, with, of course, the use of the mind and nervous system. But what if the mind or the nervous system is deviant? Then that person would be considered ‘not so normal’, right? Likewise, a computer has its own mind and nervous system; and if that mind is not working well, the parts would be useless!
The computer’s mind and nervous system are sometimes called component-ware, software designed to work as a component of a larger application. A good analogy is the way personal computers are built up from a collection of standard components: Memory chips, CPUs, buses, keyboards, mice, disk drives, monitors, etc. Because all of the interfaces between components are standardized, it is possible to mix components from different manufacturers in a single system.
Similarly, the goal of component software is to standardize the interfaces between software components, so that they, too, can work together seamlessly. Anything that can be stored electronically is software.
The terms ‘software’ and ‘hardware’ are used as both nouns and adjectives. For example, you can say: "The problem lies in the software," meaning that there is a problem with the program or data, not with the computer itself. You can also say: "It's a software problem."
The distinction between software and hardware is sometimes confusing, because the terms are so integrally linked. Clearly, when you purchase a program, you are buying software; but to buy the software, you need to buy the disk (hardware) on which the software is recorded. Briefly, computer software is the language in which a computer speaks. There are different types of computer software. What are their major types? Let us see.
Programming Software: This is one of the most commonly known and popularly used types of computer software. This software comes in the form of tools that assist a programmer in writing computer programs. Computer programs are sets of logical instructions that make a computer system perform certain tasks. The tools that help programmers in instructing a computer system include text editors, compilers and interpreters. Compilers translate source code written in a programming language into the language which a computer understands (mostly the binary form). Compilers generate objects which are combined and converted into executable programs through linkers. Debuggers are used to check a code for bugs, and to debug it. The source code is partially or completely simulated for the debugging tool to run on it, and remove bugs, if any. Interpreters execute programs. They execute the source code or a precompiled code, or translate source code into an intermediate language before execution. Examples of programming software are c, c++, b, BASIC, Python, Java, Visual C, Visual C++ and visual basic.
System Software: It helps in running computer hardware and the computer system. System software refers to the operating systems; device drivers, servers, windowing systems and utilities. System software helps an application programmer in abstracting away from hardware, memory and other internal complexities of a computer. An operating system provides users with a platform to execute high-level programs. Firmware and BIOS provide the means to operate hardware. Examples of systems software are: Microsoft Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac OSX, BIOS Softwareand Device Driver Software i.e. Graphics Driver.
Application Software: It enables the end users to accomplish certain specific tasks. Business software, databases and educational software are some forms of application software. Different word processors, which are dedicated to specialized tasks to be performed by the user, are other examples of application software.Some application software are: Microsoft Word, Encarta, Quick Books and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
As long as you have a mobile, you have used software. Any device that stores, processes and accesses information uses ‘software’. Sending a simple ‘text’ comprises using software. But remember: Software can only be used with hardware. Together, they are termed as a platform.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:38|
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